A recently published book for deployment neophytes was co-authored by a Colorado Springs resident who served as a soldier at Fort Carson.
The book, "The Ultimate Deployment Guidebook: Insight into the Deployed Soldier and a Guide for the First-Time Deployed," was published last month by Savas Beatie. It was written by former Army Spc. Paul Smith, who served four years as a signal communications support specialist with the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and Army Sgt. 1st Class Kristina Smith, a platoon sergeant stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y.
The book, a collection of short reflections on deployment, is a humorous take on the quandaries that troops facing their first deployment to the proverbial sandbox might encounter, Paul Smith said.
It covers everything from male shower etiquette to the basic amenities that troops can expect at forward operating bases. It also includes fun tips on snacks available at remotely located post Exchange stores and how not to annoy your comrades to death, Paul Smith said.
Though the book is written by two soldiers, "any service member who is going to be deployed to Afghanistan, or who has, would get something out of it, whether they're a sergeant first class who would read it and be like, 'Wow, those were fun times,' or a brand new airman getting ready to go over," Paul Smith said.
Paul Smith, who works as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan, met Kristina Smith two years ago in Afghanistan. The two, who are unrelated, became quick friends.
"We were sitting around and thinking about the fun times we've had overseas and all the weird stuff that has happened," he said. "It was a slow day, and we decided to write down a few of them."
Their brainstorming session turned into a list of 120 anecdotes. Kristina Smith recommended the two flesh them out and compile them into a book that they could self-publish and sell on Amazon.
Instead, at the recommendation of a friend, they found a publisher and embarked on a yearlong journey of corresponding with a manuscript editor.
"We're still in shock it got published," Paul Smith said with a laugh.